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First Time String Bass Players
By Katie Senn
7/6/2017 3:23:00 PM

First Time String Bass Players

Congratulations on choosing the bass! The bass (pronounced base like in baseball) is the largest and deepest sounding instrument in the stringed instrument family. As a music student, or a parent of a music student, you will want to know these basics soon after buying or renting your instrument from West Music.

Parts of the String Bass & Bows

Below is a diagram of the bass with its two bows. Click on the image to enlarge it.
string bass diagram

Removing Your Bass CAREFULLY From its Soft Shell Case

The bass is made from wood and can be susceptible to scratches if not handled with care. Following these tips or instructions from the music instructor will help prevent damage to the instrument:

1. Start by taking out the bow and placing it in a safe place.
2. Unzip both sides of the case.
3. Slowly take the soft case off the instrument.
4. In a slow rolling motion starting from the bottom, carefully lay down the bass on its side.

To Put it Back Into its Case:

1. Hold the bass in your left hand and the case with your right.
2. Carefully put the case back over the instrument.
3. Zip fully closed.


string bass end pinAdjusting the Endpin

The first time you adjust the endpin it should be with the help of a teacher, so that it’s at the correct height. Once you learn what the correct height looks like, you can take the following steps to adjust it yourself.

1. Stand facing the fingerboard of your upright instrument.
2. Adjust the endpin until the bridge touches just below your knuckle. The fingerboard nut should be about the same level as the middle of your forehead.
3. To avoid possibly scratching the floors or having the instrument slipping, use an endpin rest.

Related Articles

Have questions? Need advice? West Music is here for you! Give our school orchestra experts a call at 800-373-2000.


Adapted with permission from Alfred Music's Sound Innovations for String Orchestra 1: String Bass.

Tags: beginner, orchestra, bass, string bass, double bass, katie senn
Categories: Band & Orchestra
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